Archive for January, 2012

postheadericon What’s in a score?

It looks like the roughstock cowboys had a bit of tough luck Wednesday night at the Fort Worth (Texas) Stock Show Rodeo.

Heath Ford posted the highest marked score of the night, an 81-point ride bareback riding on J Bar J Rodeo’s Pass The Hat. That moved Ford into a tie for second place in the first go-round with Frenchman Evan Jayne. Kyle Brennecke posted a 78, while Ryan Little scored 75.

None of those scores are overwhelming in any regard. In fact, there are a lot of rodeos where an 81 will not win a roughstock cowboy any money. But those were the best scores in Fort Worth on Wednesday. Next on the list was bull rider Mike Lee, who posted a 74 on Diamond S Rodeo’s Brule. The top score in saddle bronc riding was Ben Londo’s 68 on J Bar J’s 251.

I’m not sure what this says about things in Fort Worth, but I would hope one of the biggest and best rodeos in the sport would boast of better scores through its preliminary go-rounds. I can’t tell you why the scores are as such, because I’m not there.

But I would like to see rodeos like Fort Worth, Denver and San Antonio to have great match-ups and an opportunity for outstanding scores. The cowboys deserve it.

So do the fans.

postheadericon It’s worth the trip

It’s been a few years since I witnessed the spectacle known as the Timed Event Championship, a unique event created by the Lazy E Arena staff when it opened its doors nearly 30 years ago.

The championship features 20 of the greatest timed-event cowboys in the game, even in the history of the game, competing in all five timed-event disciplines: heading, heeling, tie-down roping, steer wrestling and steer roping. It is truly a magical event, set this year for March 2-4.

Thought it’s been several years since I sat in the majestic arena, I’ve worked on the Timed Event in some regard for most of the last 10 years. I’m very blessed by the opportunity I have in preparing the written information that goes into the program each year.

I guess it’s just been part of my life for so long that I was caught off guard when I learned that an official with a major ProRodeo sponsor indicated he had never been to the Lazy E in early March to witness this affair. I just assumed it was a must-see for those who have been around the sport for so long.

Nonetheless, I informed my friend that he needed to make the trip to central Oklahoma; the five rounds of competition over three days is well worth it.

postheadericon Now that’s crooked

Brittany Pozzi

Brittany Pozzi

I’ve never been inside Denver Coliseum, and the only reflections I had of the building that houses the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo were photographs of the historic rodeo throughout the years.

I learned a little more today while talking with two-time barrel racing world champion Brittany Pozzi. She has won the Denver rodeo four times in the last six years, and I’m writing the recap from that event for Women’s Pro Rodeo News, the official publication for the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association.

Pozzi told me the cloverleaf pattern is “crooked.” In order to understand what she meant, I found a video on YouTube that put it all on display for me.

I’m glad I did, because it allowed me the opportunity to describe it in a way I hope others will understand. Crooked works, too.

postheadericon A Crane of many colors

A week ago, I wrote about Clovis Crane qualifying for the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo by winning the average titles in both bareback riding and bull riding at the Ram First Frontier Circuit Finals Rodeo.

What I didn’t know at the time was that Crane also earned the right to compete in saddle bronc riding in Oklahoma City when the championship takes place March 29-April 1. You see, Zack Vickers won the year-end and average titles in bronc riding; since the RNCFR qualifiers are the year-end and average winners, Vickers’ feat called for the regional tie-breaker, which means the second-place contestant in the year-end race earns the trip to the national championship.

That’s how Crane qualified for the RNCFR in all three roughstock events. Kudos to him, because it’s quite a feat. I’ll give him the edge in winning the all-around title in Oklahoma City in a couple of months.

postheadericon Two out of three ain’t bad for Durfey

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a post for the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo blog, which also can be found HERE.

Tyson Durfey

Tyson Durfey

Tyson Durfey left Oklahoma City last April with a nice paycheck, a new truck and a coveted title.

That was a lot to take from four days of competition during the 2011 Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, the Missouri-born Durfey used the confidence gained inside Jim Norick Arena to his benefit. What followed was a fifth straight qualification to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and a third title earned at the Canadian Finals Rodeo.

The end result was another fantastic year for the cowboy from Colbert, Wash., who finished the 2011 season as the fifth-ranked tie-down roper in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. He also won the tie-down roping in the Columbia River Circuit, which earned him a fourth trip to the RNCFR, scheduled for March 29-April 1 in Oklahoma City.

Can he repeat as champion? That will be decided in two and a half months.

postheadericon Glause-ing over the Denver money

A lot of cowboys and cowgirls won a lot of money at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo.

Seth Glause

Seth Glause

None of them earned more than Seth Glause, a three-time bull riding qualifier to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo from Rock Springs, Wyo. Glause, 23, of Rock Springs, Wyo., placed in all three go-rounds and won the average title in Denver with a three-ride cumulative score of 265 points.

He won $13,764.

The lion’s share of his prize money came on the aggregate title, but he won money every step of the way. Glause won the first round with a 92-point ride on Southwick Rodeo’s Phe Phe’s Secret; that was worth $3,989. His 86 was good enough for third place in the second round, and he followed that with an 87 to finish second in Sunday’s championship round.

It was a great run for one of the great young cowboys in the game.

“This is one of the most prestigious rodeos I’ve ever won,” Glause said. “I won the all-around here before, and Denver’s been pretty good to me. I had a good week here.”

postheadericon The image of an athlete

Inside the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, there’s a beautiful display of the reigning world champions, filled with biographies of each contestant and, in some instances, other memorabilia.

Filled with the 2010 titlists – it has yet to be updated with the recent winners – the one thing that caught my eye was a beautiful photograph that accompanied the display for Dean Gorsuch, the two-time world champion steer wrestler from Gering, Neb. The image is of Gorsuch’s great bulldogging horse, Pump Jack, running riderless down an outdoors arena after Gorsuch had dismounted the beautiful white horse to grapple the steer.

It’s poignant in that Pump Jack died Jan. 5, 2012, after suffering an injury during a practice run. The horse suffered a shattered pastern bone and had to be euthanized. The photograph was simply a wonderful tribute to one of the best athletes in the sport, and I’m glad the photograph is part of ProRodeo’s shrine.

postheadericon Return from injured reserve

Cody DeMoss

Cody DeMoss

A little more than a month ago, saddle bronc rider Cody DeMoss had to make a tough decision during the pinnacle event of the 2011 ProRodeo season; the veteran cowboy, an eight-time qualifier, realized the pain from an injury to the upper portion of his free arm was too great, so he opted out of a good potion of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

He has returned to the game after his time on the IR, known in most other professional sports as a way to get a check while being sidelined by injury. Of course, there isn’t that luxury in rodeo; if one doesn’t compete, he/she doesn’t have a chance to win money.

Of course, DeMoss has returned on strong fashion: He is placing in both go-rounds and leads the average with a cumulative total of 163 points at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver.

I guess if you’re going to come back from an injury, it helps curb the pain to come back on top.

postheadericon Here at the HQ

I made it to the base of Pikes Peak today, the home of the PRCA and the WPRA and just a few miles north of the home of the PBR.

This is the time for family, but I hope to get in some cowboy time, too. It’s only right, don’t you think. What is sad is that I’m this close to the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo, and I don’t think I’ll be able to attend.

This weekend, the 2012 Denver champions will be crowned, and I wish everyone the best of luck and the safest of travels. Besides, I’m enjoying the 60-plus-degree day in Colorado Springs.

postheadericon Lessons from a world champion

What does it take to be a world-class bareback rider? Will Lowe knows.

Will Lowe

Will Lowe

Ten times in his career, Lowe has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. He’s left the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas with a world champion’s Montana Silversmiths gold buckle three times. So what does he have to say?

“First and foremost, you’ve got to be in shape,” he said. “It takes a lot of core muscle, plus, you have to teach your muscles to react. You can’t sit there and think about it, so you’ve got to have your muscles trained.

“If you can handle your body weight, you can ride bucking horses.”

That’s a great start for any young cowboy who hankers to ride bucking beasts for a living.

“You’re going to need to get a good markout,” Lowe said, referring to having the heels of his boots over the breaks of the horse’s front shoulders when the animal hits the ground with his front hooves the first time. “Yes, it’s a rule, but at the same time, you’ve got to get those feet up there and get in time with it.

“I hold on with my feet until it’s time to go. When they start jumping and kicking and giving you some timing to do something with, then you can spur back to your riggin’.”

That style has worked for Lowe, who has more victories than most, and it can work for any youngster wanting to get to the top.

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